Wednesday, May 27, 2015

To my First Unborn

We love you. And thank you.

It was a huge surprise when I found out that you had formed inside of me. It took a long time for me to even suspect the existence of you… since my periods are never usually regular, and I only think of them when they come around. What's more, I never got the typical morning sickness 'they' speak of… 'they' being all those who have been pregnant before, me never having been one of 'them'. And with the cervical cancer scare just two years ago, for the longest time having been as single as a dollar, no more looking for change… and then, with my ovaries fast approaching raisin-status thanks to 39 years of life already… you really were out of the blue.

My relationship with your father is still very young, despite the fact that I had met him for the first time around 18 years ago, and had held a quiet candle for him all this time, never expecting our paths to cross again, never mind finding mutual love.

I bought two pregnancy tests, to be absolutely sure, because I could not believe it. When I told your father, he was also in partial disbelief… but he was so happy. We both were! I mean, we suddenly didn't feel ready, but we weren't young enough to say that, now were we? We also both had the ideal of being married before bringing a child into the world… but my Life had been no textbook case or box office Fairytale to date. Oh, how you rocked our little world the moment we knew of you!

Rest assured, you were conceived in love.

I had still not signed up for health insurance in Germany, so that became an absolute priority, and in the meantime I got some supplements to benefit you and Googled myself silly to find out what I should or should not consume, and anything else I could do to make sure you were optimally supported and nurtured in my body. Your father supervised me accordingly, and even joined me in my health-consciousness in support of you and me.

You were so good for me.

I don't think I've been this healthy in a long time. I gave up all sins that could possibly affect you, and did not even touch a painkiller when a migraine came to visit. My body did feel different, at times uncomfortable, and I could feel a slow but gradual change occurring. We so wanted to share the news with our people, but because the first trimester is high risk, even more so in light of my age, we figured we would wait it out. But it was not easy…

Finally I went to visit an obstetrician… and there I saw you for the first time. We saw your little almost-human shape… and we saw your tiny heart beating… and we were dumbstruck and in total awe of you. You were real and you were inside of me. We had, together, created you. There was no denying it now.

You were a Gift to us.

Because of my age and you being my first pregnancy, it was recommended that I go to the Genetics department at the local hospital for screening to ensure that your blueprint was sound. Your father and I were so excited to see you on a more sophisticated transabominal ultrasound and anxious to confirm that all was well, and that your environment was indeed salubrious. We were also dead curious to see if you were a boy or a girl so we could start thinking about your name…

We felt special… honoured that you chose us as parents.

And on this day of a promised high, we fell into the unknown pits of despondency as we came to learn that you had a 'broken heart' causing heart failure and that fluid was collecting around your fragile little corpus. Blood was taken from me to send for tests and a consultation with a Geneticist was scheduled. We were confused and terrified. What did this mean for you and for us? What happened? Why? The following days we carried our happy-sad secret around with us in a bubble of fear and question marks. We kept busy. We hugged a lot.

The Geneticist told us that the transabdominal ultrasound findings suggested, with the most likelihood, a chromosomal aberration… in particular, Trisomy 21 or Trisomy 18, the latter her best bet. We read up about it extensively the next few blurry days whilst waiting for the results… only somewhat comforted by the fact that it had not been anything we had physically done that could have caused or prevented it. That it merely was a random failure on Nature's part… and that we were not alone in meeting it. That the chance of it happening in a subsequent pregnancy was less than 1%...

And then the first batch of results came back, from the fast test, and the tested-for chromosomal aberrations were not detected and I was clear of any infections. I guess one could call it good-bad news… good to get a clear result, bad to have questions remain unanswered.

All in all, there was no good news. Whilst we still awaited further tests and more results, your chances for survival remained slim regardless. Another consultation with the Geneticist allowed us to explore the options, and what options they were. We could wait until Nature promoted you to Angel, or expedite the process with a termination. There were only a few days left for me to qualify for a termination whilst asleep… after that, it would either be a natural miscarriage or an induced birth, possibly still... or worse, having you die in my arms. Of course, having Nature terminate the pregnancy might have relieved me of the action on my part, but the thought of getting more and more pregnant, perhaps no longer being able to hide it from others… walking around wondering when your pathologies would get the better of you… that was also no way to live. And your father and I were on the same page about bringing a terminal child into this world… not only for selfish reasons, but for you as well. We wanted you to be able to live the best life, and how could you possibly do that with your basic anatomy and physiology not serving you well. This world is unforgiving enough for those who have all their body parts functioning well.

So… we scheduled the abortion, although I would prefer not to use this stigmatized term. I went for one more ultrasound, by my own request. I wanted to see if there had been any change… any improvement… at a stretch, any miraculous resolution before I did this unintentionally awful deed. But sadly, your fetal hydrops had worsened, and yet another pathology was detected: ductus venosus agenesis.

You were not made for this world.

Your father was wonderful to me, I'll have you know….my gentle, thoughtful rock. You would have been so proud of him. My mother, your grandmother from my side, who I did tell about you, was also there for us… and she, too, mourns not having met you. The procedure happened while I was asleep, but I could feel that you were gone when I came around again. And somehow I felt empty… because for the little time you were in our lives I felt privileged. I felt rich. I felt special. I felt purpose-built. I felt significant. I felt eternal. I have decided not to see your leaving us as a death… but rather that you were transcended to angel status prematurely… that you were not made for this world.

You taught me some things.

I would venture to say that you changed me some. I shall think twice again before I criticize my body… with all its dents and scratches, scars and bumps… the freckles, lack of tan, birthmark, and other self-perceived flaws and imperfections I criticize daily. I have a newfound respect and reverence for my body, thanks to you. It can create and support life, and despite all the abuse we inflict on it (either intentionally or unintentionally) it remains so forgiving and giving. By the same token, some people are all ready and in the perfect setting to have a child, yet cannot conceive. So, you were a miracle, albeit it not for us but through us. It will not be so easy for me to take things for granted again… I was meant to rear you, and there you reared me without being born.

You were not discarded… you were freed.

We, your father and I, don't want you to think that we did not want you. We still want you. We have always wanted you. But, Nature also makes mistakes, and this was not one you could live with, precious little being. If it is written in the cards, and your spirit remains free to choose us… if we find out that it is all clear to try again… we'll be here to receive you.

Thank you for touching our lives.

Albeit it under the saddest of circumstances, you made us grow up a little more as individuals. And you made us grow together. And we spoke about it… how we did not actually miss the sacrifices one makes when one is expecting, because your arrival was and is MUCH more important and exciting and wonderful than any earthly, superficial, transient, western, selfish pleasure or indulgence that may exist.

Thank you, little one… for you. May your spirit soar and may you know no pain or disability in your new realm of existence. I look forward to meeting you one day.

You were / are loved,
Your Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, December 14, 2014


hypocrisy (hɪˈpɒkrɪsi/) noun: the practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case.
synonyms: sanctimoniousness, sanctimony, pietism, piousness, affected piety, affected superiority, false virtue, cant, humbug, pretence, posturing, speciousness, empty talk; insincerity, falseness, falsity, deceptiveness, deceit, deceitfulness, deception, dishonesty, dissembling, dissimulation, duplicity, imposture, two-facedness, double-dealing; informal phoneyness;
rare Pharisaism,Tartufferie

I have learnt that… occasionally the very people that claim to scorn hypocrisy are Hypocrisy incarnate. Perhaps they really do believe that they are not this way at all… perhaps they genuinely do not see how their actions defy their vehemently verbal avowals… how their deep-dyed inconsistency does not, indeed, breed trust. But I feel compelled to help them see in today’s missive. All that remains is whether or not they will or actually wish to see it.

Two similar examples of such displays of hypocrisy shall follow… both middle-aged, more judgmental than they give themselves credit for, sporting a definitive superiority complex (perhaps created purely for survival?)… both cases set in similar milieus, that of social media.

Exhibit No. 1:

He/She is many things… but now also following his/her dream of being a recognized and accomplished artist. He/she captures his/her journey, his/her navel-gazing, his/her work and his/her self-professed empathy online via a blog. He/She is also on Twitter and Facebook. Correction: he/she was on Facebook. Without elaborating to any great extent (and there are several tangents which would make for interesting context and further reading), a concatenation of events led to a dramatic action on his/her part, as it does. This action was eloquently, almost beautifully, documented and justified... how he/she made a decision to extricate himself/herself from Facebook in honour of his/her authentic self. How he/she no longer wished to traipse through a real-time screen of feigned interest and friendship, stroking fragile and pathetically lonely egos with likes and validations and indulging others their self-preoccupation. Whoa… serious stuff…and so on. The funniest part of all was that despite the thespian deletion from Facebook, he/she remained on Twitter and became more active on it than ever before. Bear in mind, too, that Twitter is much less of a private online space than Facebook… on Facebook you can at least control your Privacy Settings, select who sees your stuff, select or delete your ‘Facebook friends’, and select what you want to see. Twitter, on the other hand, is like a public toilet without a door! Anyone can follow you and look at your posts and you can pretty much follow (even stalk) anyone you want to. And this person, who developed such a sudden and powerful aversion to Facebook and pretty much insulted all those whom he/she left behind in this wretched, sorry cyb-urb, tweets every day, several times a day… favours validating, in particular the young ones' tweets and has a penchant for the artistic, promiscuous ones in particular, and… wait for it… posts ‘selfies’ regularly. No, frequently.

Me, all sweaty after a run.
Me, all wet after a shower.
Me, sleeping in yet another power failure (Ja, you can take a selfie of yourself when you are sleeping, eyes closed and all…)
Me after working all day.
Me feeling sad.
Me feeling happy.
Me in the newspaper.


No more words necessary.

Exhibit No. 2:

He/She is a proud cynic and almost boastful about his/her anti-establishment essence. He/She finds anyone who doesn’t have her kind of looks unattractive, and thinks that most things will look better on him/her. If he/she doesn’t like someone, he/she likes to play people (like one plays Chess) with the aim of driving that person out or making their life miserable. He/She speaks badly of others behind their back and shams loyalty in front of them. He/She claims nobility and justifies it with his/her supposed love for animals and nature, but treats humans who do her no wrong and are living creatures too worse than anyone would treat their pet. He/She believes she has an excuse for being rude or thoughtless because he/she has had hard times and because that is the way he/she is, take it or leave it. He/She makes herself look good by making others look bad. When you’re sad, he/she’s a Good Samaritan… when you’re happy and it doesn’t have anything to do with him/her, he/she hates you and puts a dampener on everything. When his/her animals are badly behaved, they’re just being natural and innocent. When others’ animals are being badly behaved, he/she screams at them as though they put his/her life in danger. When he/she prepares a meal for others, they graciously partake and show their appreciation. When others prepare a meal for him/her, he/she tells them at the last minute that he/she will not be partaking and even pulls a face. When everything suits him/her and is as he/she would have it, he/she can be very nice indeed… but as for the contrary, he/she does not care to do anyone any favours. The revelations continue, but we are off course.

While he/she certainly keeps an eye on Facebook (I dub them Perchers – those who seemingly are never on Facebook based on lack of interaction, but are always watching), he/she oft expresses how much it galls him/her… how people splash their personal lives all over Facebook… how attention-seeking he/she finds it. How pathetic and BORING it is… all his/her expressions punctuated with rolling-eyes, vomiting sounds, tongue out with eyes squinting, forefingers circling the temples indicating madness.

Yet… in a recent status update… he/she lamented the fact that posts on Facebook are hardly personal these days, and that he/she would like to share some good advice. That if anyone needed to go to hospital, that his/her local hospital (and the staff there) is fantastic. In other words… hey Everybody out there who normally posts boring, pathetic, personal things… why are you not doing it anymore so I can laugh at you and mock you? And, by the way, I was obviously in hospital recently. Don’t you want to ask why and feel sorry for me? Even though I never feel sorry for any of you because I don’t like humans (humans suck) and only like animals that I keep imprisoned, can never tell me how they feel, have to love me because I feed them (and feeding them makes me feel so good) and they can never leave.

Curtains closed.

I don’t deny them their humanness. God, we are all plagued with it, aren’t we? I just find it sad that they are so cruel about others’ humanness.

Anyway… just as it is my party and I’ll cry if I want to… they may carry on. The theory of Relativity remains a 4D lesson in itself. My discernment comes from what I learn… and from there I choose which monsters I let stay, and which monsters I let go.

As soon as I recognize it, Hypocrisy can go.
Image from

Friday, November 22, 2013

Effing B!

Excuse the semi-expletive, FNB… but, right now, your acronym is phonetically aligned with my feelings towards you.

I’ve trusted you for a long time… well, as much as anyone can possibly trust a bank. But, I chose you as the keeper of MY hard-earned moolah, and have recommended many to choose you as well.
The things I’ve valued most about our relationship so far is that you’ve given me free reign to administer my own funds online wherever I am; saving me the time, money and discomfort (ergo PAIN) of commuting and waiting in long queues to be served at your physical branch. With the SMS notification system, I also feel that more secure knowing that, should anyone other than me be fiddling with my finances, I’d be alerted very quickly!

However, our relationship is currently on the rocks. I’m a low maintenance client, in my guise of online banker, and it is very rare that I call upon you to assist me while you draw a pretty penny.

Things began going South when I came in to apply for a credit card some time ago, much to my chagrin. Increased international travel for work justified the need, but because I no longer earn a textbook salary, due to being an independent consultant, you just wouldn’t budge… despite having access to several years’ history of transactions in my ONLY account vouching for my financial stability! I didn’t want to use the card for credit. I was already entirely uncomfortable with the idea of having one in the first place, and only needed it to save me financial embarrassment should I be in a country where my debit card is not accepted. I’ve always been a cash buyer and NEVER live beyond my means…that should be a positive thing. Ironically, I’ve often been denied things because I don’t have a credit record! How is not having a credit record worse than having one at all? I still can't get my head around that.

Anyway, moving along… what REALLY got my goat, most recently, is that it has been near impossible to change my address! I moved into a granny cottage, and when I finally found the time to come into your branch (at my expense and inconvenience) to change my address, my copy of the lease agreement in hand, you turned me away telling me you needed the original, or a police-certified copy of it. The rental agency that signed me up had the original and it was only valid for 6 months anyway.

By now, nearing the lapse of the 6-month lease agreement, I approached my landlords with my dilemma. At the end of this month I shall be renewing my lease agreement with them personally, on a month-to-month basis, until I decide where I want to go next. They happily typed me up a letter in the interim, confirming my residence on their property, with an original signature by my landlady (who is an ADVOCATE, to boot) at the bottom. The same lady I transfer my rent payment to each month via my only FNB account. I came through again, and was turned away because this letter was not, apparently, acceptable. And… not a morsel of concern about wasting my time.

You have got to be kidding me! 

Me, myself and I were there in physical form,  with my ID book and letter from the landlady who I pay rent to… to change MY address for MY account that holds MY money so that MY personal banking mail reaches ME! 

I understand the reason for bureaucracy and red tape in most instances, but this is taking it too far. And I continue worrying about who's now opening my mail. Read the bold sentence above again and convince me otherwise, I beg you.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Shirley Valentine

I took my mother and her best friend to see Lisa Bobbert-McIlroy (Lisa) as Shirley Valentine at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre last Friday night.
We had all seen the movie years ago and it had touched us all in its way.
Well, we were not to be disappointed…the palpable involvement that live theatre offers, for both the actor and the audience, remains unmatched.

And then there is Lisa. She is “charming” incarnate. She achieves perfection not in flawlessness, per se, but in wholeness. One simply has to admire the fact that she remembers all those lines… and stoksiealleen. All eyes on her… no other characters to divert our attention whilst she catches her breath or flips through her memory banks… bearing in mind that she moves from one performance to the next in steady flow.

Lisa’s portrayal of Shirley Valentine was REAL. Natural. She was Shirley Valentine, no question about it. We were in that kitchen with her… and her wall… and in Greece… and we were all rendered good listeners. Never a dull moment, with constant eye contact, impeccable timing, facial expressions and accents… she made us laugh and made us cry… she made us think and made us want to try…
And, by the way Lisa, you have legs to die for, and you can whistle like a male hooligan soccer fan!

The set was grand, which is something I have come to expect from the King. Attention to the smallest detail, even the taps had water come from them! She really did cook chips and egg while we there… had we been closer, I am certain we would have smelt it.

I also noticed the lighting effects… subtle but effective… dimming as Shirley elegantly and humbly slipped into the depths of her own pathos, betwixt her upbeat musings.

The steadfast quality of Steven’s direction shone through as always. KickstArt Theatre Productions has become a force to be reckoned with, and I am a proud South African in the wake of it. We have world-class talent right here on our own doorstep.

The only criticism I can deliver, and not for wanting to, is that our hearing-impaired friend sometimes battled to hear Shirley in row J.

Other than that, what a poignant yet uplifting piece of theatre… just the right length. We left for home, emotionally and spiritually satiated… grateful and a-dreaming... knowing that we are not, as we may sometimes think, alone.

The Massage Chair

So, I spontaneously paid ten Ront to be kneaded for five minutes in one of those massage chairs in a shopping mall, on my way out.

The female assistant who received my money was temporarily confused by my request to wipe down the chair before I occupied it.  “You do know that sweat is really dilute urine, and that some people don’t wash often or have dandruff or even ringworm?” I cautioned. She arranged a spray bottle filled with what appeared to be a window-cleaning product, using a cloth that would probably be green again after laundering. Nonetheless, I proceeded to climb into the chair without further comment in appreciation of her effort, and because of her sweet disposition.

She switched it on.

Gradually it reclined as the knobs hidden in its framework came to the surface and worked my muscles. I was left in a somewhat confused state, really enjoying the sensation whilst feeling hellishly embarrassed that the chairs were facing passing shoppers in their hordes. Why don’t they have them face the other way, goodness me! I put on my sunglasses to block out the circumstances and in case my eyes rolled back with pleasure, maintaining my best poker-face.  The leg extensions squeezed around my calves, whilst my spine, neck and back of my head got rhythmically pulsed and pounded.  It was, indeed, very effective.

And, then… a singular, large and bellicose knob suddenly thrust up into my coccyx, and I yelped!  After that, I had the giggles as I covered my face with my hands… remembering I was in public.  The lady assistant seemed to know exactly what had happened as she said, “What’s wrong, Dahling… is it the one at the bum?” “Yes!” I exclaimed, “That knob, I can do without!” Again, peals of laughter…

Buttock bump aside,  I’d venture to say… it’s not a bad replacement for a boyfriend.  Good listener and tireless massage therapist. Comfortable and flexible. Has excellent rhythm. Can be switched on at the press of a button, and at whim. Just saying. But… naaaah. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What She Learnt...

There’s this girl, lady, woman, human being, chemical concoction all wrapped into one who… like most, many, if not all of us… made a mistake in love, for love, or in pursuit of love… or, at least, the idea of it.

She’s not short of love as it emerges in its different forms or guises… but she was contentedly single for a long time, and then suddenly realized one random day and on similar sporadic occasions…

perhaps whilst sobbing during a romantic comedy or a ballad at full volume (this is authentic – Bridget Jones copied her),
or whilst crying on her way back from a back massage realizing how touch-deprived she really was,
or whilst stalking a greying couple ‘gefoofling ‘on a park bench saying ‘awwww’ a lot,
or whilst cooking a meal fit for an army… for one,
or whilst carrying a heavy burden (whether it be physical or emotional) all by herself,
or whilst unconsciously rocking a basket trolley in Checkers to and fro as though it were a pram,
or whilst lying awake in a cold bed during the ungodly hours of the night,

… that human beings, no matter how good they may be (or think they may be) at doing it, are not designed to be alone.

She had resigned herself to the fact that her story was not going to be someone else’s and that it would unfold as it should, eventually.  Bottom line, though, is that it remains perfectly acceptable and natural to crave human companionship and we are emotionally and psychologically designed to long for someone to share our lives with. She surrendered to that feeling, from time to time.

So, jumping through the how, when,  and what happened hoops, we get to hear what she learnt from her last mistake…and a real humdinger of a mistake it was. And remember that she is her own person… a very independent, but one-man-woman, faithful Fido, relationship-type-girl… so the rambling ahead may not make any sense to you at all if you don’t fit that bill.

1. Don’t rush into things

It is true when they say that fools rush in.
Don’t rush in even if you are catching a whiff of the forties, hurtling mercilessly towards you (or you to it?).
Don’t rush in even if he walked into your life, serendipitously, the day after you aggressively prayed for him (like King Lear in the storm)… or drew a card from an Angel deck you shuffled really well that said you would finally meet the man of your dreams.
Don’t rush in even if he swiftly, even miraculously, ticked almost every item on that ‘ideal man’ list, which you wrote under duress by your Taoist friend who’s into visualization.
Don’t rush in even though you’re beyond flattered that he seems so taken with you too, in the wake of your wilting self-esteem spanning romance. 
Don’t rush in because your hormones are screaming and you’re so delighted to realize that ‘the engine still starts and runs’ but you’re afraid it will cut out.
Don’t rush in because you lost two friends in tragic accidents only weeks prior to his entrance, coupled with an unexpected cancer scare… and suddenly feel that life is desperately short.
Don’t rush in because you’re changing your tack to see what the new brings.  Don’t rush in because you’re afraid to lose his attention / interest, knowing full well that there are a host of chicks waiting in the wings to give him exactly what he wants… and at the drop of a hat.   
Don’t rush in even if you are worried that if you leave ‘it’ any longer, it won’t be a photographer you’ll need for your eventual wedding, but a graphic designer and Photoshop guru.
Don’t rush in because the fairy tales and movies say it’s okay and could well turn out for the best.
Don’t rush in because you want to or need to, because neither applies – if you do decide to rush in, because the abandoned gay told you to go for it, be sure you’re prepared to ‘take it like a man / woman’, whatever happens, with your feet firmly on the ground.

She says,  “You don’t know someone, until you know them.” Profound, I know, right? She says, “Quality takes time – you won’t know if the muffin recipe was in fact good, or just how good, if you don’t bake it in the oven long enough.” Okay, don’t know why she said that... think it’s time to move on to the next lesson learnt.

2. Be YOU. Always be natural – if that’s not good enough, then it’s not good enough...

Never compromise who or what you are… you can compromise when it comes to one night here and there watching grown men chasing an oval ball that doesn’t bounce properly whilst grabbing each others’ balls – that kind of thing, sure. But never compromise your essence – that is, your personal belief system, your morals and your values. Of course, you can welcome challenge… but if your notions survive challenge, then they are strong enough… and, what’s more, they are YOURS. It is so very important to be equally yoked.
Who has the energy to keep up an act for any prolonged period of time anyway?  Just hang loose and be you (I said hang loose, not be loose). If he is that elusive ‘one’, he’ll even find your irritating or somewhat icky bits amusing or endearing… if he loves you at your worst, then he’ll love you always.
Of course you want to please him, but NEVER do that at your own expense. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not so that he can think you are ticking his list of the ideal woman. If you have to change to make him like you even more, than he isn’t liking you, now is he? You are not in relationship to become what you think each of you needs.  You are in relationship because, for some reason, you just work so well together, you bring out the best in each other and life is that much more beautiful and interesting when you’re together than when you’re apart…  the excitement and intrigue of the ‘honeymoon phase’ will wear off, that is a given… but there is no reason for the phase following that to be even better, albeit it in a slightly different way.
She says, “Do you want REAL? Then you need to be REAL and get REAL.”

3. Trust your instincts implicitly...

So, this is a tough one to articulate clearly, because you can be in love-bubbling denial and call it your instinct too, right?
It can be very confusing, especially when hormones and elation stuff up your chemistry (albeit deliciously) and leave you thick.  All fine and well, but somewhere down the line your internal compass’ dial might swing wildly, your core’s alarm system might beep, your mine’s ‘canary’ might splutter in the vestige of toxic (to you!) fumes, and you will be in some kind of conflict with what’s happening from the outside to what’s happening  inside.
Don’t ignore it, don’t push it away and don’t deny it. There’s a lot going on inside of you and around you that you are not in tune with most of the time… and it is all about resonation. You don’t have to react violently or do anything drastic just yet. You don’t even have to take immediate action. But what you do need to do is listen to it… listen closely… and be mindful and cautious as you wait to see what it all means.

She says, “If it feels wrong, it is usually because there is something wrong.”

4. Living together...

She grew up shunning ‘living in sin’, but she has long since changed her mind about that. To get married and then move in together may emerge a terminal oversight … two people making a vow to love each other till death do them part extends beyond mere love. Cohabitation incompatibility can trample that lovey-dovey stuff in no time at all… and even result in death! But that is a subject on its own... moving along.

Living together is very revealing, and in so many ways.

She says: “You don’t know someone fully until you live with them.” And the profundity continues…

When to move in together is up to both of you to decide.  It might seem in conflict after point 1 of not rushing in… but you could expedite finding out whether or not this union actually works  by moving in together (carefully, now) somewhere down the line and save yourself a lot of time. You see, if he is a liar and a cheat, a professional Lothario, an unscrupulous juggler of women, a closet-full of skeletons, a schizophrenic psychopath, a Wednesday-night cross dresser, suffers from paraphilic infantism, is addicted to pornography…  all of this could be easily hidden from you if you just saw each other on weekends,  etc. Your relationship could continue for years in blissful ignorance… and, besides, if after a decent while you both don’t have the urge to share domicile, there’s probably something wrong there anyway.

She says, “Trust me, sometimes there can be things which you never would have thought and still cannot believe you never saw (or perhaps did not want to see)or imagined could be true. Serious things. Things that can render the person you think you love a complete stranger… someone who did not, in fact, exist.”

Broken hearts are mended with time… but HIV and STDs are here to stay. You need to be sure you’re entirely prepared to put your life in this other person’s hands, because that is what it comes down to I’m afraid.

5. Purge, forgive yourself and move on...

Of course, this is not her first mistake, and she continues hoping that it will indeed be her last one.
You have to forgive yourself for making mistakes… this funny thing called Love and all its siblings and half-siblings and hill-billy cousins and pets and distant circus relatives… it’s all a gamble. It’s all a risk. But, having said that… if you continue living only to protect yourself, you will never be touched by anything.
And don’t look around at ALL your married or coupled friends who can’t take their hands off each other and just radiate happiness and contentment and are still this way after 15 years of marriage and two perfect kids… and think that this failed relationship is just happening or has just happened to you. That you’re just plain unlucky and have been short-changed.  That you have officially missed the boat.
Don’t let your internal dialogue be: “You stupid cow - what did being good get you in life, really? A head girl badge, that’s all rusted and forlorn in a leachate-producing cell in some landfill site? Look at you, you’ve wasted so much time on training a few men to be a wonderful husband to someone much younger and more beautiful than yourself. Your ovaries are fast approaching raisin-status. Get over yourself and stop being so fussy – stay happy solo or settle happily.”
Balderdash. Comparisons are odious – you’ll find you’re comparing  everyone else’s highlight reel with your background scenes. Nothing is always as it seems.  And nothing is guaranteed to last forever (she gets lump in her throat and a crease in her brow as she reflects on this – and then switches to reconsidering botox). And some of the most beautiful female celebrities have also been dumped, divorced, duped, cheated on and so on. It happens. Shit happens!

If you can’t believe this happened to you, then your Ego is too big or getting way too much airtime… give yourself a break and send it to its kennel. At some point someone was interested in or loved you, and you didn’t feel the same way. Even though you may not carry one morsel of bad character akin to your mistake, you too… my Dear, have broken someone’s heart or hurt them.

You have to forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know until you found it out. 
And then be grateful you found it out sooner rather than later and that you emerged practically unscathed (yes, it could be worse… far, far worse).

The best thing you can do with a mistake is make sure you have learnt something from the experience that will positively serve your gut-feels, choices and outlook in the future.   You will have learnt something more about yourself, there’s no doubt about that. There are some facets of yourself you just will never know until you reflect it off other people ‘in relationship’.  And, the better you know yourself, the closer you’ll get to knowing what makes you truly happy… and then you can get on with it!

She says, “There are many unsavoury characters out there who are Masters of Deceit. There are some genuinely good people out there too, which may or may not be right for you, or you for them.  You may be bummed, but you simply must tarry on forward. Unless you want to be the monument erected to commemorate the mistake (who is moving on joyfully without you)?”

6. Don’t let one PRICK burst your bubble...

Believe that what you really want is still coming. Figure out what you really want first.
Believe that you deserve it and that everything is going to be all right. That everything is as it should be.
When you’re ready to step out and try again, do your best not to make the next potential heart’s fold pay for ‘the mistake’ before him and do not paint him with the same brush before you’ve even seen his undercoat.
Treat every relationship differently and with respect until it is not deserved.
Realize that when two people are involved, there are already at least two vantage points… two complex human beings not necessarily always in sync… two internal dialogues on the go that are rarely privy to the other’s utterances.

When you find ‘it’ she doesn’t believe it will be that much work. It will just work. It won’t feel like work. It will feel right. And survive the test of time.

Until then, cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Find a source of happiness elsewhere, but most of all from within… because the worst mistake you can ever make is pin all your happiness onto a significant other loving you. That just isn’t healthy.

And besides, you’re much more attractive (physically and transcendentally) in a confident, content and positive state and more likely to invite the right kind of interest from the right kind of person. People gravitate towards people that make them feel alive or good when they are around them. Tell me I am wrong about that, she dares you.

Until ‘it’ happens… go visit your mum or aunty and show them how much you love them. Walk in the forest and thank God for your working legs. Cuddle your dog who is always happy to see you. Kiss a friendly parakeet in the pet store. Have coffee with a friend, buy a stranger a gift, dance in the shower… do something, anything, nothing… but do NOT stew, chew on and obsess about a mistake... a failed romance. You know that what you focus on only magnifies. Get it out of your system as quickly as possible and carry on growing and nurturing your better self. 

Just surrender and be… and you’ll see.

Yes, it might be another mistake… or it might not be… but you will find out soon enough.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Lesson for the Unsuspecting

How I know that john birchel is a sobriquet, amongst other things.

So, yesterday I received a random contact request on Skype from a john birchel, in the lowercase, yes.

Note the following clues that he is not who he presents himself to be.

· The photo is blurry (low pixelate), probably having been downloaded from Google image.
· His name and surname is typed in lowercase… no proud American male official would do that.
· Who puts a photo of himself in uniform next to the American flag and then has to state in ‘About’ that he is from the USA?
· His brief bio is typed with horrendously poor grammar, syntax and spelling. He is too old for me to blame social media and smartphones for his sub-par English. Even when I edit his bio, he still sounds like a foreign caveman: My name is John Birchel from USA. I am a born again Christian. I am searching for God-fearing woman as wife (sic).
· Who does that? Is the fact that he is a born again Christian supposed to serve as a default CV of trust? What respectable man lets the whole world know he is hunting for a ‘woman as wife’.

Even if, by some lenient stretch of the imagination… lowercase john birchel is a real man but has a Finnish father, didn’t finish matric and is good with his hands rather... that lowercase john birchel is a little technology-challenged, and genuinely looking for a wife, albeit Rambo-style, because he is just so gatvol of not having anything to come home to… even with all of that I wouldn’t be interested in the slightest because:

· I have grammar-nazi DNA.
· His hunting style makes me feel pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen already.
· I don’t like this as a ‘How We Met’ story.
· 'He' doesn’t exist (and it will take a lot to convince me otherwise).

But, my bullsh*t detector is so finely-tuned, thanks to extensive (oft traumatic) training at the University of Life, that I just know the dude or chick or hermaphrodite or eunuch behind this lowercase alias is Timbuktu-far from what I’d be interested in communicating with.  Besides, I anticipate that within 2 weeks (no, make that 1 week) he'll profess his undying love for me. He'll tell me that he has finally found his soul mate. He'll pick up on my desire to have children and want to be the father. Gosh, he'll fill whatever holes I have in my life, no doubt! Then he'll tell me that his wealth (which will finance our glorious life together) is locked up in a 32-day call-up, but that he cannot wait to come and visit me (I am driving him crazy with passion)... and would I please send him some money for the flight. He'll pay me back sooner rather than later... blah blah blah.

So, I block. That’s what you do for lowercases like these. Unless you’re game, of course.